jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Someone wrote up a really nice review for A Division of Souls! And not only that, they left them everywhere: on GoodReads, Amazon, Smashwords, and their own blog! That truly made my day. :D
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Another lazy Sunday morning, in which I'm up and awake and watching the local news cycles while enjoying a cup of coffee. It's a bit chilly this morning but the rain seems to have abated somewhat. Not much going on today, although I'm going to need to do a bit of writing work later. Due to other plans I wasn't able to update the A to Z Challenge post yesterday, so I'll have to do that today.

FINALLY got around to updating the ebook for A Division of Souls...the odd typos and weird word choices are getting fixed so they're in line with the physical copy of the book. This will be the official 'second edition' of the ebook in that respect (and yes, I am in fact labeling it such on the copyright page). And yes, I have had some thoughts about giving the entire trilogy another 'remaster' once all three are out, but that's quite some time down the road, so I'm not going to worry about that. Still...I'm about 2/3 of the way through, so hopefully I'll be done by end of week. Just in time for the new book release!

This week is going to be kind of busy for me, between my writing projects and other things, including needing to head into Concord on Tuesday. I see no rain in the forecast for that day, so hopefully the drive there will be uneventful. But really, I'll be focusing mostly on this Friday, when the new book comes out. I really need to start pushing it in various places just to get some airtime. [Doing the current A to Z meme is actually helping, heh!] Even though it's longer than ADoS, I chose to give it the $4.99 price (a dollar cheaper than the first book originally), plus I'm offering Book 1 for free.

Going to be quite the busy's to hoping I'll be able to keep on top of it!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)

I've been so busy the last few days that I've lost track of time. Day Jobbery keeps me on my toes, especially when an apocalyptic snowstorm hits the east coast and shuts down not only the print facility but the both USPS and FedEx delivery hubs, and clients still want to know why their checks are late. *headdesk* Plus I seem to have given myself a much tighter editing schedule than I expected in regards to The Persistence of Memories, which at this point may be pushed to end of February. As much as I hate to admit defeat, it's still much too long (it's about 10k longer than A Division of Souls...which, by the way, has been getting rousing applause by readers but has the same problem: it's also far too long). Since the ending is in sight for this one, I'll finish this run off and start over ONE MORE TIME to see where I can cut.

Which brings me to a related thought...I will, at some point, need to head back to ADoS and do the same. As much as I love the deliberate pacing for this trilogy, it's not for everyone. I will admit that there are definitely some scenes that can be cut, shortened, or sped up. I'm not entirely sure when I'll be hitting that one next, as I'd like to work on The Balance of Light after I'm done with TPoM. We shall see.

And what of Walk in Silence...? *sigh* As much as I'd love to get that out by April, my schedule isn't playing fair, so that one may not be released until autumn. I don't want to put out a half-assed book I'm not proud of, and I do my shittiest work when I kludge it together and call it done. I will of course keep everyone updated on this.

So...what else is going on? Well, I'm currently living the bachelor life for a few weeks, as A is currently in Manila on a work-related trip. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the time difference (9am today here in SF is 1am tomorrow there), but we make do. She's been tweeting all kinds of really tasty food she's been buying and eating, which is making me jealous. And believe it or not, the apartment has not degraded into a messy mancave. In fact, I spent most of the first day doing some serious cleaning, and plan on continuing with that next weekend. And yes, I have been eating well! Or reasonably well. I've only ordered out once so far, and that was due to having forgotten to get something out of the freezer to thaw. The only thing I've been bad at is going to bed at a normal time, but that's due to my wanting to get some serious writing work done. I guess I'm at that age where becoming a slovenly slacker just doesn't have the appeal anymore.

Speaking of of last Friday, I am now the same speed as a seven-inch single. And I am fine with that. No, really, I am! :p
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
This first week of 2016 has been noisy here. Our next door neighbor is laying down a hardwood floor in the living room. A simple overlay of pretreated bamboo flooring that he's dropping down over the carpet, so it's not as if he's doing any major renovation, but there have been a lot of wood cutting sounds (and a distinct woodchip smell in the hallway) all week long. Not complaining, though...he's keeping the noise to a minimum.

[I did see one person complain, though...someone had written "LOUD DICKHEAD" on a package downstairs that was going to said apartment. That certainly wasn't needed, but it was amusing in a way. Thankfully most of our neighbors have finally figured out that others in the building may not be interested in party noises at one in the morning.]

No, the irritating noise yesterday was the two guys doing some jackhammering right outside our window. They're doing something with the pipes under the sidewalk, I believe. Whatever they were working on, it's done now, and they're filling up the holes again. Lots of dirt shoveling going on. EDIT: Okay, there's a bit of tablesawing and more jackhammering going on now. Technically they can do this because it's past 7:30am, but really, this is San Francisco and no one is awake before 10 on the weekend unless they're joggers or have to walk the dog. :p

In writing news, things are going pretty well. I FINALLY released the physical copy of A Division of Souls out into the world! Yay! It's up at Amazon, ready for your perusal and purchasing! All that's left for that story now is to update the e-book and re-upload that version, and I can finally put that book to bed. As for The Persistence of Memories, I'm about two thirds of the way through the edit. It's slow going, but I should hopefully be done by month end. It looks like it'll be ready to go in e-book form by early February.

I've been hitting the 750 this week, but I think I still have an issue with the procrastination. It's getting there, and once I make myself get those words out (I shut down all the other browser tabs and don't reopen them until I hit goal), they come quickly and fluidly. I also did not get to write a WiS blog post yesterday, but I'm okay with that because the first week of the year is usually kind of boring musicwise. [Okay, the new Bowie came out yesterday and I do quite enjoy it, but I'll have to listen to it some more to form an opinion on it.] But hey, that's what the weekends are for! I'm sure I can whip something up today or tomorrow.

Other than that, it's been a decent week. How's by you?
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
...or in this case, the pantry. At least a dozen or so out-of-date foodstuffs tossed (most of them over a year or so old, including a forgotten tiny bottle of some kind of spread with a sell-by date before we even moved to our present location!!), things re-arranged, other things to be put away elsewhere. Realized we have an insane amount of jams and preserves, and an even more insane amount of tea. Our snack situation is positive, considering we made a run to World Market today and found various tasty things like Coffee Crisps, Tim-Tams and chocolate bars, and followed it up with an assortment box of Jo-Jo's from Trader Joe's. Oh! And not one but two assortment boxes of Samuel Smith beers (the three-bottle gift box that comes with a pint glass, so now we have a matching set of four glasses). And earlier this week I boxed up the books that I should bring down to the SF Library store at Fort Mason. I should probably go through my clothes this weekend as well, and bring it to the local Goodwill. Maybe next weekend. The apartment laundry facilities are still on the fritz, so I've been heading over to the laundromat up the street on Sundays. [Why yes, as a matter of fact I have been writing longhand while waiting for the cycles to end, why do you ask?]

So yes, things are looking spiffy round these parts!

In other news, the daily 750 Words exercise is once again going to be put aside for the time being, for the simple reason that Emm has now finished reading A Division of Souls and offered suggestions and comments, so now I can go through my galley copy and make the final fix. Once they are complete, then I can put the physical book up for sale on Amazon, get a few comp copies for various people, and update the e-book version as well.

As for The Persistence of Memories, I'm about a third of the way through the edit, so I'm hoping that I'll be finished by the end of the year. It looks like I should be on schedule to release it mid to late January, maybe even on my birthday. We shall see. I will most likely be doing the same thing with the physical copy--formatting it, getting a few galley copies made, editing it, and releasing that a slight bit later. I'll have a more solid date to announce as soon as it gets closer.

[On a side note...all this preparing for an official drop date has given me a bit of background on how it works when releasing a book or a record. This will definitely come in handy with a music-related fiction project I will be working on in the future.]

So all in all, things have been busy but creatively and positively so. Can't complain about that. :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
...and we're back from New England! I'm still feeling a bit out of sorts, due to the fact that our vacation dates were Saturday to Saturday instead of the usual late-Friday to Sunday afternoon. I'm still trying to remember what day it is.

The weather back east was nice for the most part, if you ignore the brief drips of rain that lasted five seconds, or the " that snow?" squall that lasted for about three minutes (and took place about an hour after we arrived at my parents' house). I'd complain about it being warm in the 60s one day and in the upper 40s/low 50s and super windy the next, but that's actually kind of par for the course here in SF too.

Lots of pictures taken, lots of things seen, and many people visited! Alas, we did not get to meet up with everyone due to conflicting schedules, but other than that, a fun time was had by all. I did get a good amount of reference photos for the Walk in Silence project -- A and I were both amused at how some of our old haunts are still there in the Amherst/Northampton area after all this time!

Surprisingly, I didn't spend that much money on frivolous things like cds or books. I bought a few manga tankobon (considering Naruto is over and I need a new series to keep me company) and a few books, but that's about it. Not surprisingly, we did eat a LOT of unhealthy but extremely tasty New England food (including fried clams!), so it evens out!


So I believe I've mentioned earlier that I'd uploaded A Division of Souls to NoiseTrade Books (a site that features ebooks and mp3s in a pay-what-you-want setup, and a great indie source for both). A few weeks ago they contacted me and asked if I'd like to be a part of their New & Notable campaign. In essence, it's buying ad time on the site, but it was well worth it, because as of today, it's gotten over two hundred downloads. Sure, many people got it for free, but I'm fine with that--just the fact that I got it out there and it's still getting hits a few days later makes me blissfully happy! Onward and upward!

So on that high note, time to go back to normality and sort through my personal email. Woo!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)

Oh, here's a shock. It's Wednesday and I'm listening to KSCU online playing The 80s Underground show, and now I've just gone and emptied out one of my mp3 players to throw a bunch of 80s albums on there. And it's not the first time I've done it, either...I did it a few times previously as part of my Walk in Silence playlist.

I'd put that project aside to put all my focus on releasing A Division of Souls, and I think it's high time to bring it back. Even if I only work on it on the weekends, I need to pick it back up and get a final draft done. Why? Because I'm aiming for a release of late April 2016.

Why a specific date, you ask? Well, it just so happens that the week of April vacation (do kids still have that nowadays?) in 1986 was the week I discovered college radio.

Yeah, that's right. I've been obsessing over the alternative rock genre for thirty years.

I think I'd better make a big party out of it, no?

[And yes, I'm well aware that I'm going to be releasing The Persistence of Memories somewhere around the same time. I'll try to keep it spread out.]


So anyway, what's with this rebel thing? Eh, just something that's been floating through my head lately. Over at Welcome to Bridgetown, I talked a bit about how far I wanted to take the whole DIY process in self-publishing. [And as I'd said there, I don't come to this as a way to make myself believe I don't need an editor or beta readers or what have you, or that I consider myself above such things. I just want to see how far I can take it completely on my own. If I fail miserably, I only have myself to blame, but I've also learned things as well.]

I'm half-jokingly thinking of it as a bit of personal rebellion, really. Not against anyone in particular, but a process that's been in place for decades. There's an understandable bit of frustration in the traditional publishing process -- writing, rewriting, revising, finishing, submission to an agent (repeat as necessary), submission to a publisher (repeat as necessary), finally get accepted, wait in line to be printed, wait for the release date -- particularly the time spent waiting, as well as the gamble that you may or may not even get a response.

Self-publishing has done a lot to minimize a lot of that frustration. Sure, there are a lot of questionable e-books out there, but there's also some pretty nifty ones as well. And on a product level, I'm finding that the novels may not contain Manhattan-level editing, but there's some equally fascinating story ideas. This is where my half-joking rebelling comes in: I'm the punk band that's just recorded an EP using their older brother's copy of SoundForge, done a spot of fine-tuning and mixing, and set it out on the world via Bandcamp. [Or if I really want to date myself, I borrowed time at my buddy's friend's uncle's tiny studio (which actually records PSAs and light entertainment music, and paid for after-hours time by doing their yardwork), made a cassette tape of a demo (and recycled the master reel afterwards) and sent copies of copies of copies of said tape (using a few bricks of Memorex tapes I bought at Radio Shack) out to various radio stations that I found listed in Maximum RnR.]

Come to think of it, I think this is actually a healthy way to look at it, at least personally. It gives me stable ground in which to base my methods of writing and publication, and it appeals to my own natural temptation to avoid doing something the way everyone else does. It clears my mind, and it clears my path, and that works for me.
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Like I've said elsewhere, I'm feeling twitchy. And when I feel twitchy, that means I'm wasting time somewhere that could be better utilized. Not to say I'm about to ban fun and goofing off of course. Just that my time management could use some tweaking. Must look into that.

In other news, I now have two avenues of finite self-promotion open to me that I need to follow up on within the next few weeks. One is a website ADoS is available at, and the other is my hometown newspaper. Which means I should probably get my ass in gear and write a decent press release for myself! :p

Long term: Thinking about what I should be working on in 2016. I mean, aside from releasing The Persistence of Memories and The Balance of Light. I've got a few non-Mendaihu Universe projects that I'm thinking of releasing, that I could start working on. Also thinking of what new stories I could begin as well. Am I going to be a Stephen King and release eight books in a year? Heh, probably not, but if I can do more than one, that's cool with me. We'll see.
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Hoo! After two-plus weeks of being too lazy to do the grocery shopping, our refrigerator was dangerously on the verge of becoming a bro fridge (a bunch of condiments, about 1/8 cup of milk, a few vegetables that may be past their date, and a few beers, natch), so today was Shop for All the Things Day. Took a different way down to the mall in San Bruno by way of all back roads (we usually jump on 280 or cut through Daly City and Colma), and not so surprisingly, it took a lot less time to get there and back. And less traffic, too!

Anyhoo, our refrigerator looks a lot less embarrassing now. A is currently doing some canning now, while I start the afternoon housecleaning. That's the funny thing...I don't exactly procrastinate when it comes to housecleaning, as we generally pick up after ourselves when we're done with things. But weekend cleaning is usually an all-afternoon thing for me. I'll start with, say, the bathroom floors for starters, realize the shower needs scrubbing so I do that next, and then come to the conclusion that I'll need to vacuum at some point as well. Oh, and mop the kitchen floor, once A is finished with her project. There's also the temptation to start the laundry if no one else is using it, just to get it over and done with. [Note: Sundays are not a good laundry day, because that's when everyone else in the building thinks it's a good day to do it.]

Meanwhile, what else is going on?

The Grand Edit of The Persistence of Memories continues apace. As usual, my first couple of chapters are usually the ones that need the most fixing, but thankfully this one didn't need as much overhaul as ADoS did. Just a lot of scene rewriting and major deletion of extraneous crap. I've just started a new chapter and already I've deleted over 2000 words, so that's a good sign that I know exactly what needs to be done to make it even better.

Basically, I overwrite. A LOT. My verbose blog posts here and elsewhere are a good example. But to be honest, to me this is a good thing, because it means my major writing style overhaul in 1999 has worked out for the best. Before that, my writing was sparse and I left out a lot of much so that my prose read more like an outline than a novel. My longhand is still a bit like that, but that's okay, because longhand is supposed to be the VERY rough first draft. Point being -- when it comes to the revision, I get to do a lot of deletion, and the rewriting tends to be a lot of "how can I say this in fewer words?", which works out a lot better for me in the long run.

On a related note, I now have five galley copies of ADoS, one I've already claimed as the Red Pen Edition. This will be the one where I make all kinds of petty notes about layout, typos, and other embarrassing things. Once I get through that, then this book will FINALLY be available in physical form on Amazon! Yay!

On that note, back to the scrubbing and cleaning. And coffee drinking. Have a spiffy weekend!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)

Thanks to a little more fancy footwork using Photoshop,, and CreateSpace at Amazon, I've created the official cover layout for the print version of A Division of Souls. I quite like how it came out! The back cover is actually a zoomed-in crop of the top right of the original Shutterstock image. My only gripe is the kind of boring spine, but apparently I could not change the font or placement, only the color. Actually, my other gripe is that for some reason I had to price it at $18.99. I think that's a little steep, but apparently with Amazon's weird royalty setup, that's the lowest I could do it and actually make any profit. Granted, it is 500+ pages (500+ nicely laid out pages in Garamond font, I should add!), so it'll be a bit on the chunky side. This being the first edition, I'm sure I'll have forgotten something ridiculous or missed exactly one typo, but the good thing with Print on Demand is that I can do a quick fix, upload that version, and Bob's yer uncle.

It's not available in print just yet; the Powers That Be at Amazon have to check and make sure it's all groovy and everything. I will of course let everyone know when it is! That said, once this goes through, this will mean that ADoS will be available pretty much everywhere. Yay!

I will say that if you're wondering where to buy it, I have two suggestions:

1. If you buy the e-book via Smashwords (and it is available via all formats, including Nook and Kindle), I will end up getting the highest amount back. With the book at $5.99, my take is $4.69, the rest going to Smashwords for being the awesome people they are. Not bad at all!

2. Thanks to it also being distributed by Kobo, the book is also available through many brick-and-mortar bookstores that sell e-books on their website (for instance, I'm available through my local bookstore just down the street, Green Apple Books, as well as via Books Inc, a well-respected Bay Area mini-chain). If you buy the e-book through your local retailer that does the same, I'd be thrilled to give them a portion of the money as well.

Of course, if you want to buy it in your usual way, via B&N or Amazon or wherever, I'm cool with that too. :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
"I just got my first purchase order notification for A Division of Souls. Yay, I'm a legit paid author now! BASK IN MY $4.69. #booyah"
--Me, tweeting yesterday. :)

So yes, I have made money off my book! I know of at least two friends who bought it so far, and hey, I'm okay with that! It's only been a couple of days since the drop date, and it's going to be available forever anyway, so I'm totally fine with being a slow burner. This is just the beginning.

[That's not to say I may have felt a passing twinge of "OH GOD I REALLY DO SUCK" the other day. I heard back from BookLife, who reviews books for Publishers Weekly, and they've decided to pass on reviewing. Granted, they get thousands of requests each day and can only select a tiny amount, so it was kind of expected. But I let that twinge pass. Onward and upward.]

Has anything changed, now that I have something to measure my writing career? On the surface, no, not really. I'm still Workin' for the Man during the day and slogging through my writing in the evenings and weekends. On the other hand, however, it's definitely changed my frame of reference. I may still be thinking about writing the next book, or simply enjoying the process of writing a novel, but I've now added the business side of it. I'm actively thinking about what steps I should take, where I can go with it, and everything else...taking it a little more seriously now. Like I'm finally working on it as a career instead of a pipe dream.

And I kinda like that. :)

Oh--and I think I'm pretty happy with first-day Smashwords numbers:
Sample (20% of book) downloads: 3
Full downloads: 3
Page hits: 100+

It's of course gone down since then, but I expected that. This is where shameless self-promotion comes in. I'm still working on that. ;)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Wow. I can finally call myself a published author now.

It's still sinking in. How many years did it take me to get to this point? And compared to that, how few months did it take for me to go from making the decision to reality? I'm still amazed by it all.

But's official, A Division of Souls is now available for sale! :D

jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Random bits:

--Apropos of nothing, I just realized that when I post on LJ, I usually prefer to use the HTML screen instead of the Visual Editor screen; when I post at my WordPress blogs, it's usually the other way around.

--Updated my PC to Windows present it's doing all the background tweaks and updates and should be good to go within the next few minutes. Now that I've got A Division of Souls ready for release, I had time to take care of it. The only thing I really needed to make sure of is to save my IE Favorites (yes, I know, I know...) since they didn't get saved for the new browser. I instead saved the folder to my Dropbox so I can access it from pretty much everything I use to go online now. Everything seems to be good so far.

--Man, our front windows were dirty! I just finished giving them a good cleaning, and they look SO much better. These are the only windows that get this dirty, really...they face the street but are recessed a bit due to it being the fire escape, so they don't get hit by the rain or condensation like the kitchen windows do. Yeah, I know, boring info. Sorry about that.

--The Insane Final Edit of The Persistence of Memories continues apace. This is the book where I got consistent with the daily numbers, which on the one hand forced me to be economical with the action, but on the other hand made me a bit repetitive in my prose, so I think I may have a better time excising than I thought. Still, there's about 30k words more in this one than in ADoS, so it'll take time. I'd kind of expected this, actually, so I'm fine with TPoM not coming out until the end of the year at the earliest.

--Tomorrow's plan is to head over to the Mission for book and yarn shopping (and perhaps some BiRite ice cream). We don't head over to that part of town all that often, partly because it's way on the other side of town with no quick way to get there (and yes, our hipster tolerance is kind of slim), but it is fun to stop at some of the neat stores down there.

And of course most importantly, my first book drops in 5 days!! Woo!!! :D
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Not gonna lie. The excitement of seeing your first book officially listed on websites like Barnes & Noble does not get old. I'm still stuck in 'how the hell did I pull this off?' mode here.

I went into this self-publishing venture completely expecting (and accepting) that I'd be shouldering all the work from start to finish. I faced each part of it with a balance of seriousness and enjoyment--I refused to do a half-assed job with any of it, but I also had a blast doing it as well. It's true, it's been exhausting juggling all this with the Day Job (especially when the Day Job has been stressful with an unexpected rise in work volume), but in keeping an even head and remaining dedicated has paid off.

The Final Line Edit is finished as of late last night (to the tune of Failure's Fantastic Planet, for those playing along), five days ahead of schedule. All I need do now is clean up a few endpage fiddly bits and start work on the final formatting. I'm probably going to be spending tomorrow on that.

Then I get to do this twice more for books 2 and 3. Woohoo!

Oh, and shameless link:
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
I really should not feel this exhausted by an afternoon of concertgoing.

Granted, this concertgoing includes quite a lot of walking, eating really bad things (including a cheeseburger with bacon utilizing two full glazed donuts as a bun) (yes I have photo proof) (YES IT WAS TASTY), constantly breathing in secondhand pot smoke and vaping vapors, and walking home afterwards. I'm not old, really I'm not. I'm just...out of shape. Yeah, that's it!

Various pictures were taken yesterday for Day 1 of Outside Lands (which I will be posting to Walk in Silence soon enough). In record time, I was told by OL Staff that my nicer camera was not permitted as I did not have a press pass, even though it's a) a personal camera, and b) has a detachable lens no bigger than 2 inches (okay, I measured it and it's 2 inches plus 1/8 of an inch, but let's not be pedantic asshats, shall we?) and was told to put it away. This kind of put a damper on my mood for the rest of the day, as I was really looking forward to taking good pictures. I don't want to be that photographer who flouts rules until caught. I went for the music first and foremost, so I was happy enough to take pictures with my phone yesterday (and got some really good shots!), and will be taking my older point-and-click today and tomorrow.

And yes, even despite being on my feet all day, eating bad food and grooving to good tunage, I still found time to work on the ADoS edit when I got home. There's a good chance that's the source of my exhaustion, but it's totally worth it.

OH! And speaking of A Division of Souls...I can't tell you how giddy I get looking at this page, making it official:

jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)

Just reserved a spot at Smashwords. Which means I'd damn well better stay true to my word and get this damn Line Edit done and this manuscript all nice and formatted before 8/20.

Eighteen days to do 250 pages, plus a day for formatting. Yipes. O_O
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)

After a slight bump in the road, in which I had to call Shutterstock to get them to process my payment correctly, I purchased a package of 5 downloads (which is good, considering I can use the others for books 2 and 3) and commenced playing with both Photoshop and PicMonkey to get what I wanted. I also consulted A. for her input on the visuals, asking what seemed to work best for a reader like herself.

The picture was taken by Tommy Zhang. :)

The funny thing is that I'd used Photoshop only for the cropping, as I was less than happy with the fonts they had available. And since I needed to work within the submission parameters most want, I had to make sure I had the right ratio. Which meant eyeing it because I can't do ratio math to save my life, measuring the picture using an actual ruler against my monitor (LIKE A BOSS) and considering it done. It's as close to the 1:1.33 ratio as I could get it.

As for the fonts, I used (thanks to Meagan for the suggestion!), which is what I'd used for the original outtakes. Goddess knows I did not want to use the Papyrus font (aka the pseudo-Celtic Wiccan font you see on all the New Age books), nor did I want to use the same science fiction fonts everywhere else. Something just that bit unique, but not overly so. The title is Geo Sans Light (bolded), and the subtitle and author name are both De Walpergen Pica.

So, total cost today? Just $41 for the five download credits on Shutterstock. I already own Photoshop, and used the free level of PicMonkey. Not bad at all.

Next up: Continuing the work on the final line edit, and uploading. :)
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
It's Saturday morning and we're on our second pot of coffee while A. catches up on some Day Job work and I keep myself busy with things and stuff. Tonight we'll be heading to the Symphony again (another of $15 a ticket deal, this time featuring Thomas Ad├ęs and Dawn Upshaw). Tomorrow is...up in the air. A. may need to do a bit more Day Jobbery stuff, and if I've nothing better to do, I'll once again use that day as Errand Day. Such excitement, very wow. :)

Last night was spent writing query letters to potential agents to get A Division of Souls out and about! This will be attempt numbers 2 and 3 for 2015, as one of my primary aims for this year is to find a home for the Bridgetown Trilogy. [This does include indie publishing if it comes to it.] And speaking of the Mendaihu Universe, I will freely admit that my writer brain is absolutely clamoring to get another MU story up and running. Even as I'm attempting to work on Walk in Silence and Blogging the Beatles, the ache to return to that universe and start writing more stories within it has been nagging at me for quite a few years now.

It all boils down to tricking my mind.

On the one hand, while I can easily multitask, I don't always find multitasking an entirely positive thing to do. It comes from my Day Job: I hate having to stop in the middle of one method of problem solving so I can jump to another issue that has risen to Threat Level OMGWTFONOES. That is due to the fact that many clients have differently tweaked setups, so what might be logical for Client A may be highly illogical for Client B. I waste time and energy adjusting myself to a different situation which, in my mind, should be similar but isn't.

On the other hand, with my creative endeavors, I can switch easily from one to another without a problem. I can do my daily words, do some drawing or squeeze in a blog post, and work on my main project at the end of the day, with little frustration and not that much time in between.

I realized this was due to the number of things I was working on, and which kind of thought process I was using. I've a good analytical brain which helps me in manuscript revision and plotting, but gets rather annoyed when I have to stop on a dime and restart in a different direction. Or in a different light...I'm happy when I'm in charge of my thought process.

My point being, it's a matter of tricking my mind into switching from one writing project to another. This is why I have the whiteboard; it's a deadline schedule to make sure my multiple projects are getting done in a reasonable time frame. And from my point of view, I should have the time to balance WiS, BtB and the possible new MU story.

Now? It's a matter of getting and staying off the damned internet and DOING them.

I blame the cats, I tell you. Evil, cute furry things!
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
Yay vacation! Currently enjoying my last week of days off before I jump back into the excitement of bank work for the rest of the year. We had no real travel plans this time out and decided to take a quick flight (just under 2 hours) to sunny rainy Portland OR for a few days. We had no real plans other than to drive around, see the sights, and spend way too much money at Powell's City of Books. Much fun was had, many pictures were taken, and we saw quite a lot of fun things. I've come to the conclusion that Portland very much has the same "college town" feel as Boston, maybe with a bit of a Pioneer Valley feel for flavor. We also drove up Route 84 to the start of the Columbia Gorge, which is absolutely lovely (and would have been more so if it hadn't been raining).

So what are we doing for the rest of our vacation? Not much of anything, really. Go see a movie, do a bit of walking, dread heading back to work on Monday. The usual. :)

I'm a few days behind on Inktober due to being busy during vacation, as well as being superlazy yesterday, so that means I'll have to play catch-up for the rest of the week. The fascinating part of taking part in this meme is that it's definitely reawakened my love for drawing. I've always wanted to devote more time to it but never got around to it, and the meme reminded me that I can still pull it off. In a way it's the same as my music playing--I never played all that much until I bought a few more, and now I'm noodling around on my guitars a bit every day. [Same with working on my daily 750 Words--that's been a great writing exercise for me.] I've even done a bit of shopping for art pens and found a great pack that I think I'll love using (which I bought at Powell's, no less)! I'm curious to see where this goes. Will I ever go pro with it? Probably not...but I think I'm back at the level I was at in college, and I'm really liking that feeling, and that's what matters.

In other and more pressing news, this morning I got an email from Angry Robot. They've turned down A Division of Souls, but I'm okay with that. In fact, I have to appreciate their not only giving me an update email during their business shuffling, but in this one stating one of the reasons why they turned it down. [More on that in a Welcome to Bridgetown post later.] I'm understandably bummed, but at the same time I'm relieved and excited. Someone not only read it but took the time to say something about it upon return, and that's given me food for thought. Does this mean more revision? Possibly. Does it mean weighing self-pub versus professional publishing again? Perhaps. I don't think I'll be spending nearly as much time on the trilogy as I have in the past--most of the possible revision would be cosmetic at this point--and besides, I have two (possibly three) other projects that I'm juggling at the moment that I really should not put off any longer. It'll be interesting and busy for a while longer, but I can handle it, as long as I keep myself focused.

I've a feeling 2015 is going to be quite intense for me, but in a good way.
jon_chaisson: (Mooch writing)
I'm not going to post a picture of the whiteboard this time out, because for the most part it remains the same:

Mon-Fri: Revision of Bridgetown Trilogy
Wed: Photo post
Sat: Art, Music
Sun: Walk in Silence, Music

The whiteboard will most likely change as necessary, depending on what major project I'll be working on and anything new that comes up.

What's important here is the goals:

Revision of the Bridgetown Trilogy, and Related Projects.
I'm a few chapters short of finishing the first revision run-through of The Persistence of Memories, and will be picking up The Process of Belief soon after. As time permits (and if, by chance, I get a bite from Angry Robot or an agent or someone), I will also be tidying up A Division of Souls. This trilogy remains my main project for the time being.

I will also be updating the Welcome to Bridgetown blog with new related posts as well. I have a bunch of fun ideas for that one.

I have also previously commented on wanting to write further stories in this universe. I have a few vague ideas and a few stronger ones, and plan on working on a few of those as well as time permits.

That said...the related goal here is to get the Mendaihu Universe stories out into the wild this year.

Can't Find My Way Home.
I've decided that this one may end up being my next project unrelated to the above. I recently read through the outline I'd worked on a few years previous, and a lot of it still stands up well. The few chapters I worked on in the past a little less so, but it's nothing a little revision can't help. It's also a story that's not nearly as intensive in worldbuilding as the above, so there's not as much prewriting work to do.

Another idea I'd had for this novel was to post it online in installments. It's supposed to be read that way anyway--its episodic nature was inspired by the various anime series I've watched over the years, with a finite set of chapters (twenty-four), many of them with self-contained minor storylines with the overall plot showing up tangentially. I'm seeing this novel more as an experiment more than as a publishable novel (although I'd be happy with that as the end result), so I'm totally fine with self-publishing this online. As soon as I've come up with a bit of a backlog and a set schedule, I will of course let everyone know of its debut.

The YA Novels (Angela Death and The Children of Dun Corran).
These two may be a little further out on the schedule, maybe third or fourth quarter, but I'd like to at least work on outlines. I recently read through the outtakes and notes on these as well, and found them strong, if lacking in extension at this time. If anything, I believe I'd started these too early--I wasn't ready to write them just yet. I'd like to think I'm at the point where I may be able to try them out now.

Journaling, Poetry, Music, Photography and Art.
After much deliberation, I've reevaluated these five things in my life--many of them pastimes that I've taken part in for decades now, but never expanded on professionally. I've come to the conclusion that these will most likely remain personal endeavors, things for me to work on in spare moments, avenues to let off steam or play around without trying to make them professional. Over the last few years I found that the onus of trying to create everything to publication was actually inhibiting me rather than giving me a personal creative outlet, and that was exactly why I'd had such a dry spell. For 2014, I plan on using these five as a personal and emotional outlet rather than a professional one, as that is precisely what they were back in the day, and should probably remain. Most if not all of what comes out of this will most likely remain offline.

That said, if I do in fact create something I feel is worth sharing, I will of course post it. And I will of course show up from time to time on LJ and elsewhere when time and mood allows!

Walk in Silence, the book and the blog.
As said previously, this one fell by the wayside due to other more important deadlines. I am hoping to pick this up again on the weekends. This project has changed quite a number of times over the last few years, going from a book to a blog and back again, and I'm still not entirely sure what I'm going to do with it, but for now I'm going to focus primarily on the blog. The reason for this is that much of what I'm going to be posting will most likely end up in the book anyway, if it comes to fruition. I do not have a set deadline for this book at this time, given my other self-imposed deadlines, so this one will most likely meander here and there until next year.

So yes...I have given myself a shit-ton of homework for the year, all due by December 31. And most of this will be worked on in tandem with everything else in my life. I'll be squeezing these things in between the cracks of my day; a slow day at work, at the gym, on vacation, what have you. Like I said in my previous post, I was able to handle my schedule last year, so I think I should be able to ramp it up a bit this year. I'm not sure if I've given any room for anything else to work on, but I know that I'll be working on all this on a day-to-day basis, and if time frees up for me to do something new, I will by all means embrace it.

Here's to an insanely busy 2014. Despite the workload, I'm looking forward to it.


jon_chaisson: (Default)

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